I woke up this morning later than normal because its saturday and It is allowed. I made my coffee and took my dogs outside. The birds were singing and the sun was shining but I felt cloudy and dark and gloomy inside. I came in and sat down with my coffee to do my daily devotion and I picked up my phone which is always a detour for me by the way. I stumbled across a live worship set one of the churches my parents were on staff with was posting. I kept it on and sat it down and thought I will do some cleaning and listen to this as my devotions today. So as I picked up the windex and started to clean I began to feel a lump develop in my throat. I heard the song from my phone and all of a sudden they came falling slowly from the corners of my eyes until before I knew it I was in full blown sob mode. I heard that soft still small voice whisper how long has it been Renee since you cleaned this filter. I saw the tears and water pour over the dirtiest heart shaped filter I had ever seen. So much dust and impurities had built up. I fell to my knees and raised my head to heaven and let God do his work. I heard the beautiful words coming from my phone. The tears went on longer than I had expected but soon they subsided. I don’t honestly remember the how long I was on the floor but when I got up It was like the clouds had lifted…my glasses were cleaned. My life felt clean again.
How long has it been since you cleaned your filter.
It talks about this in the bible it says…
Psalm 51:10-19 King James Version (KJV)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me
I experienced that today and I am greatful because we were created to reflect Gods glory and if we are full of gunk like bitterness and sadness and regret and fear we will not reflect who God is to a nation who desperately needs to see it.
I have to admit my emotions have been one giant rollercoaster ride. The last 3 weeks have been jarring and unexpected and for most of us we feel disconnected.
Today as I sat in the back yard letting the kids play I felt God tell me to take my shoes off. YA I did the same thing and my face scrunched up. But he kept saying it. So I took them off and as I walked around the yard I felt him tell me that He is not oblivious to the disconnection I feel. He wants me to dig my feet in to the earth and not let the media and my anxiety pull me into a wild ride of fear and emotional chaos. He is here and he is holding me down and will be my Rock. I felt so calm as the warmth of the sun beat on my face and I felt the grass beneath my feet. The peace I felt was unmatched to anything I had felt in a long while. I felt stable and like my DADDY was standing right beside me and nothing would beable to get past his protection. Feel that today
HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US!!
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
GET OUTSIDE TODAY…Take off your shoes and get grounded. Let him encourage you today…we can’t hug but God isnt under social distancing regulations. Let him HUG you!!
I remember in kindergarten these small simple rules were drilled into us. Keep your hands to yourself and Worry about yourself. It seems like todays society has completely disregarded these simple things and it has really hurt us. Especially on social media. People are constantly judging other people’s actions. They point fingers and want everyone to do things the way they would do things. It is frustrating. We watch our government and its like a giant kindergarten argument over who gets to be the LINE LEADER. Can we just all learn to get along? I see this even more in Motherhood. How people bicker over how others raise thier kids or clean thier homes. Do they work fulltime or stay at home with thier kids? When did just doing your best become not enough?
Most of my waking hours are spent being a childcare provider. It is a daily grind of telling those little ones to stop touching one another. I constantly remind them that they need to worry about themselves. Be loving and kind. How would you like it if they said that to you? Because of this there isn’t a day that’s gone by where I am not reminded of my actions being less that perfect because I hear my own words in my head on repeat.
I wonder if our world is being put on a giant time out. Maybe God is telling us to Change our Hearts before he let’s us go back to being with our friends.
Let’s review our preschool rules and learn to be more loving and kind. Stop our whining. Use manners like Please and thank you. Share our things. Worry about ourselves and most importantly WASH OUR HANDS. It doesn’t take much to be a good person but it does take action on our part.
So I use to think that becoming a better me would only come to pass if I did the huge transformation. I had to lose 75 lbs and go back to school, be a workout junky and become debt free all in the same week. Ofcouse my unrealistic expectations made it impossible to grow as I would fail before I even began. How would I ever see a goal to completion by self sabotaging myself at every turn? I am still constantly trying to be better. I need to continue to see progress in my life or I feel like I am not my best self. But I realize now that I can grow daily and weekly and yearly throughout my life by consistently living life intentionally.
I can do small intentional steps that make big strides over time. I can learn to let go of my negative talk. I can let go of toxic thoughts like the grass is always greener somewhere else or blaming others for things that I dont like in my life.
I learned to keep my house tidier not by doing everything in one sitting but starting with 15 minutes a day. Marked improvement happened when I was consistent.
I improved my financial situation by having a plan. The same should happen with everyday life. I Didnt write a check and pay off everything in one sitting. But we paid one thing off at a time until we saw each debt drop away. But we had to be consistent.
I will never learn more about Jesus or how to be more like him if I dont spend more time with him daily. It is so easy to neglect that time. But as I give him more and more time I see my motivation to be consistent improve. I actually want to get better. I want to be more compassionate and more giving. Yet, without knowing the personhood of Jesus my constant striving becomes purposeless and self serving. I remember reading the Quote “GIRL, READ YOUR BIBLE” for the first time last year and It hit me like a ton of bricks. What is the reason for my striving is it just purely selfish or do I truly want to be more like Jesus. I certainly don’t want to wake up one day and realize I did all of this work for absolutely nothing more than a few likes on social media. The only LIKE I need is the one I will get at the end of my life from Jesus when I hear WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!
OPINIONS are like belly buttons we all have one. How many of us have heard this or a version of it? We aren’t going to curb this. It is part of our human makeup. A God given way to choose what we like or dislike. What is good or bad. What is fun or not fun.
Somewhere over the years expressing your opinion has opened many up for a mirad of hatefulness. Since when did free speech become less than free. Why is it so hard to learn to discuss and debate in a manner that portrays a civilized society?
Yet I don’t believe it is by accent. In proverbs it tells us that just wanting to say your opinion without hearing the otherside is being foolish.
An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:1-2 NIV
I think today we really need to try harder to hear and communicate with others. Especially those who may think differently than us.
Another verse in proverbs puts it this way….
In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines. Proverbs 18:17 NIV.
Listening has become a lost art in America. We talk talk talk like champs. But making educated decisions based on both sides has been pretty lacking. We need to be better. Let’s listen to both sides. Let us do it with love and compassion. Being religious does not mean you are always right and being educated doesnt mean you never make mistakes. We need to be better and listening and truly hearing the hearts of others before we judge and jump to conclusions based on feelings alone.
These are my opinions…..thank you for taking time to listen. Happy Thursday!!!
So this year I decided to invest in a weighted blanked. I am sure you have all heard something about these blankets through all the media hype over the holidays. I don’t believe there was a store that wasn’t carrying them in various sizes and colors boasting of its ability to ease stress and anxiety and promote restful sleep.
So I brought it home and to my surprise the weight of the blanket felt like a giant hug and seemed to make the proverbial weight of the world melt away. I never wanted to leave from beneath my new glorious covering.
In Corinthians 12:9 the bible talks about this when it speaks about boasting about our weaknesses and how when we are weak CHRIST is strong.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
There are days when I find it difficult to even get out of bed. The weight of the world seems like it smothering me. It is in those times that when I admit my lack of strength that his power can envelope me like a weighted blanket and melt away my self doubt and worry and replace it with his strength and peace. He reaches down and wraps us in his love and there is no place I feel safer. Xoxo Renee
Today is monday and not my favorite day of the week. But today just felt different. There have been alot of aha moments today. These moments of clarity come unexpected and if I am distracted or feeling alittle bit annoyed I will completely miss them. Today I had one of those moments completely by accident. I had been feeling little bit old and washed up. My three boys were busy living thier lives. My husband wasn’t home from work yet. I had my morning routines like breakfast dishes and loads
of laundry in between cups of coffee. I wanted to scream out to God what now..is this all life holds for me. Than I got a text from a friend. Just your normal hows your day text. But something stirred in me. For years my life had been Motherhood. I am even the director of our local pregnancy center and take care of a few children daily as my source of income. My whole world has been wrapped up in motherhood and parenting. I think God was reaching out today and reminding me that I was more than a Mother. I was an individual and unique and had worth besides what I do for others. I had worth and still had dreams and goals and creative outlets that God wanted to develope in me. When we use JUST we put ourselves in a specific category. I am more than JUST a mother. I am more than JUST a wife. I am more than JUST a 50 year old woman.
When You feel the JUST creeping back into your vocabulary it’s time to take a step back and ask God to show us who He says we are. God never meant me to be JUST anything. He didn’t die for JUST anything.
As our time together is coming to an end I wanted to make sure I reflected on some of our time together.
First off I know we have had some rocky moments. TImes where we werent always happy with each other. I know times were confusing and downright frustrating.
YET, there were more times full of happy memories and love and I am so greatful for each of them.
Though we had our rough spots I have learned so much from them. They have taught me to have faith in my Heavenly father for protection and provision. They have taught me what happens when we lack motivation and procrastinate and when we have drive and work hard.
All and all we had a good year. Thank you for everything you have shown me this year. As I meet 2020 I hope it will show me even more than you have and we have a much greater relationship full of wonderful times and memories.
I have struggled with the opinions of others. I have let it shake me and hurt me and ignite anger. Through the years I have learned to see people’s opinions as something everyone has just like the heart in all of our chests. I do think today people express thier opinions expecting them to change the worlds outcome. Opinion doesnt change a thing unless its backed by a plan for change and an amount of blood sweat and tears. Passionate people have opinions but the ones that back thier passion by working to change something see results. I have yet to see words change hearts but I continue to see LOVE change and transform lives. It doesn’t matter the issue in society today you will encounter opinions that back your view or press against it. I challenge you today to look deep into your heart before expressing your opinions in public. If it isnt something your not prepared to sacrifice or work to change than maybe those opinions are better kept to yourself. Being kind and Loving others takes minimal effort and energy. Angry words and opinions are stress causing and hurtful.
Stand strong in your beliefs but make sure you are always kind and loving. People without this character who express thier opinion about everything should examine thier hearts and like Micheal Jackson sang look at the man in the mirror. I’m starting with the man in the mirror I’m asking him to change his ways And no message could have been any clearer If you want to make the world a better place Take a look at yourself and then make that
I woke up and for the first Sunday in a long time I didn’t want to get out of bed. I felt unnoticed and unseen and that was fine for me. I would hide away and just continue down my rabbit hole of negative emotions. It was just one Sunday. No one would even notice if I skipped church today. I laid in bed for 10 more minutes and then as I tossed and turned I decided just to get up and go. I would sneak in and sneak out and that would be it. So I did just that. I worshipped and prayed and listen to the sermon and as soon as the prayer ended I bolted out the door. I wish I could say church made the difference today. But if I am bring truthful I felt worse than I had before I got there. Then I turned on the radio on and I heard Gods voice so loud and clear. GOD’S NOT DONE WITH YOU. The tears fell like rain over and over. He saw me. He heard me through my silent temper tantrum. So read the lyrics and hear this spoken over you. If you feel like your story is over. It’s only just begun. Because God’s not done.
Standing in your ruins, feels a lot like the end So used to losing, you’re afraid to try again Right now all you see are ashes Where there was a flame The truth is that you’re not forgotten ‘Cause Grace knows your name
God’s not done with you Even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars God’s not done with you Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart God’s not done with you It’s not over, it’s only begun So don’t hide, don’t run ‘Cause God’s not done with You-ou-ou-ou-ou You-ou-ou-ou-ou
There’s a light you don’t notice Until you’re standing in the dark And there’s a strength that’s growing Inside your shattered heart Woah-o-o-o-o-oah
God’s not done with you Even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars God’s not done with you Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart God’s not done with you It’s not over, it’s only begun So don’t hide, don’t run ‘Cause God’s not done with You-ou-ou-ou-ou You-ou-ou-ou-ou He’s not done with you You-ou-ou-ou-ou You-ou-ou-ou-ou
He’s got a plan, this is part of it He’s gonna finish what He started He’s got a plan, this is part of it He’s gonna finish what He started He’s not done God’s not done writing your story No, He’s not done God’s not done with you! God’s not done with you
God’s not done with you Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart God’s not done with you It’s not over, it’s only begun So don’t hide, don’t run ‘Cause God’s not done with You, You (You-ou-ou-ou-ou) You, You (You-ou-ou-ou-ou) You, You No, He’s not done God’s not done with you